The Soldiers Prayer

Eph. 6:18.---' Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.'

With all his shining armor, the soldier's equipment is not yet complete. There is one other vital thing to be named, and this the Christian warrior must take along with him, for his warfare will be hopeless if he leaves it behind. 'Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saint's'

Why should he pray? A praying warrior receives into his soul the grace-energies of the eternal God. The power of grace is just the holy love and strength and beauty of the Godhead flowing into the needs of the soul and filling them with its own completeness. Now we do not pray in order to make God willing to impart this grace, but in order to fit ourselves to receive it. We do not pray to ingratiate God's goodwill, but to open our souls in hospitality. We do not pray to create a friendly air, but to let it in, not to propitiate God but to appropriate Him. We do not pray to turn a reluctant God towards ourselves, but to turn our reluctant selves toward a ready and bountiful God.

When should we pray? The answer of the veteran warrior Paul is 'always.' Not at some time, but at all times! 'Praying always.' But can we do that? We are called upon to earn our daily bread. We have to face a hundred different problems. Every bit of grey matter in our brain is devoting its strength to the immediate task. Is it possible for us to think of two things at once? Can we be thinking out some absorbing question in business, and at the same time be praying to God? One thing is surely perfectly clear, we cannot be always thinking of God. It is constitutionally impossible. But while we cannot always be thinking of God, and always speaking to God, we can always be mentally disposed toward Him, so that whatever we are doing there can be a mental leaning or bias towards His most holy will.

But the Christian soldier is not only a suppliant for his own spiritual health. He is much more than this. The Apostle counsels him to be a suppliant for the health of the entire Christian army. That is to say, the Christian soldier not only prays for the health of his own spirit, but for a healthy esprit de corps throughout the whole militant Church of Christ. it is his duty and privilege to be prayerfully jealous for the saints, and for the spiritual equipment of all his fellow-soldiers on the field.

And then, just to finish it all, and by one example to show how deep and wide is this ministry of supplication, the apostle Paul asks the Ephesian soldiers to pray for him. 'And for me, that utterance may be given unto me.' Let us be careful to note this, and let us observe its heartening significance. These immature Christians in Ephesus, trembling in their early faith, are asked to pray for the old warrior in Rome. Do all congregations realize that privilege and service concerning their ministers? Do I realize that my prayers, obscure and nameless though I be, can give utterance to a Paul, a Livingstone, a Moffat, or a Chalmers? Do I realize that I can pour grace upon their lips? What a brave and splendid privilege! Am I using it? I thank my God, that we pray for one another. And it is shone by our communion together.

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